SEATTLE -- Mariners first-base coach Casey Candaele knows how important women are to the game of baseball. And on Tuesday, his organization is paying homage to some of those currently making contributions.The Mariners are hosting a "Women in Baseball" event before Seattle and Baltimore square off on Tuesday, the first
SEATTLE -- Mariners first-base coach Casey Candaele knows how important women are to the game of baseball. And on Tuesday, his organization is paying homage to some of those currently making contributions.
The Mariners are hosting a "Women in Baseball" event before Seattle and Baltimore square off on Tuesday, the first installment of the club's "Beyond the Baseline" series. Panelists include Shannon Drayer, the Mariners' beat reporter for 710 ESPN, the Seattle Mariners' radio rights holder; Sarah Gelles, the Orioles' director of analytics and Major League contracts; Amanda Hopkins, an area scout for the Mariners; and Kelly Munro, the Mariners' senior manager of baseball information. Meg Rowley, a writer at Baseball Prospectus, is the moderator. The event takes place at 5:10 p.m. PT in "The 'Pen" in left-center field and will be streamed on Facebook Live.
"It's just special to see women get recognized in baseball, because they've been a big part of it and they've played the game a long time," Candaele said. "To get their due and to continue to get their due for what they accomplished and women that play today and being recognized is just great."
It's a special event for Candaele, who enjoyed a nine-year MLB career. Growing up, his mentor was his mother, one of the pioneers for women's participation in the sport.
Candaele's mother, Helen Callaghan Candaele St. Aubin, played in the All-American Professional Girls Baseball League, formed in 1943 during World War II. St. Aubin played for five seasons, and she won two batting titles and was terror on the basepaths, with 354 stolen bases in 388 games.
Growing up, Candaele didn't understand the magnitude of his mother's accomplishments. He simply thought everyone's mother threw them batting practice, hit ground balls and gave advice on his approach to the plate.
Sometimes, St. Aubin would mention she played professional baseball to Candaele and his three brothers, who would reply, "Don't you mean softball?" St. Aubin would quickly correct them, but she never went in depth about her career.
It wasn't until Candaele's younger brother, Kelly Candaele, started researching for a documentary titled "A League of Their Own," chronicling the AAPGBL. That documentary would inspire the 1992 film with the same title.
"It was pretty special without knowing it was special," Candaele said.
Candaele is thrilled to see his franchise honor women who have made an impact on the game he loves.
"It's just really cool to see the Mariners do something like that, and it has a special place in my heart because my mom played and everything," Candaele said. "It means a lot. You go through and you go through the everyday grind of the season and all that. And to think that the Mariners did something with women in baseball is pretty special and pretty cool."
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.